Main Stay is thrilled to introduce the newest additions to our program: a fabulous family of four young guinea pigs! Mom, Petunia, and her 3 daughters, Violet, Tulip and Marigold needed a new home due to an unexpected twist in their previous owner’s story—a mix-up that led to an unplanned guinea pig family. Thankfully, Main Stay was able to welcome all the girls and their original owner happily kept the males.
Our little guinea pig family find joy in interacting with each other, often engaging in spirited play that includes the endearing “zoomies” and joyful leaps known as “popcorning.” They’re currently adapting to our bustling barn within their snug habitat, but exciting plans are in the works. Facility manager Art is constructing a larger, specially designed “Piggie Palace” just for them, ensuring they have the perfect space to thrive.
Animal-Assisted Learning and the Benefits of Guinea Pigs
In a recent article published in Psychology Today, the value of animal-assisted work is highlighted, particularly the positive impact of activities involving guinea pigs. Engaging with these furry companions, whether it’s preparing their meals, tending to their habitat, or providing enriching experiences, has been shown to lead to significant improvements in social skills among a diverse range of clients.
The Nature of Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are inherently social animals, making it helpful to have the furry family of four work together during session activities with clients. As ground dwellers, guinea pigs often seek shelter when feeling anxious. By offering them a cozy haven during interactions, we ensure they feel safe, fostering a positive experience for both the piggies and our clients.
Our piggie family is delightfully vocal, enthusiastically squeaking and purring when they are excited and happy. Guinea pigs don’t tend to groom each other but quickly learn how good brushing and petting feels so that is rewarding for people and piggies alike! Guinea pigs are inquisitive and playful. They love fresh vegetables and need a steady supply of vitamin C so treat training with veggies like bell peppers and kale is a fun and healthy way to interact.
It’s been some time since Main Stay has had guinea pigs as part of our team, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them into our family. Petunia, Violet, Tulip, and Marigold bring a unique energy and positivity to our program, and we look forward to the wonderful experiences they’ll create alongside our clients.